Treatment Options for Substance Abuse

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 21.5 million Americans (ages 12 and older) had suffered with substance abuse disorders. As professionals spread awareness through educational resources, more treatment options have become available. Medical research has led to the acknowledgement that addiction is in fact a disease. A disorder that is not simply based on lack of will power nor an issue of morality, addiction requires precise and multiple options for treatment and ultimately recovery.

12 Steps/Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. In earlier years, the goal of these founders was to help find a solution that worked for other addicts seeking recovery. AA has maintained the sanctity of this program by refusing to charge for the 12 Steps or membership. The 12 Steps provide a guide that ultimately leads the addict to identify past harms/traumas, fully admit their wrongdoings, make amends, identify unhealthy behaviors, create humility through connecting with spirituality/higher power, and cultivating hope through helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. The fellowship and anonymity of AA and the 12 Steps have proven to be successful over the years for any addict pursuing sobriety.

Long Term Inpatient Vs. Intensive Outpatient Treatment
During long term inpatient rehabilitation, the patient is usually housed in a substance free facility for a substantial amount of time. This type of treatment provides around the clock therapeutic and medical care while temporarily keeping the patient away from potential triggers. Inpatient rehab has proven to be most beneficial for those dealing with chronic substance abuse disorder and co-occurring disorders.

Intensive outpatient treatment provides many of the same benefits as inpatient rehabilitation. Group therapy, behavioral therapy, as well as individualized therapy are often included in the program. Patients are not isolated and protected from triggers, however this treatment method has proven to be effective for those that must continue work to provide and care for their children or other family members. It is important to remember, any addict can stay sober by maintaining consistency in recommended treatment and establishing a strong support system.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Vs. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy that promotes problem solving skills. CBT primarily focuses on solutions rather than revisiting old problems. This method of therapy encourages development of new coping strategies, changing detrimental cognitive thinking, and problem solving skills. CBT has also been used in treating co-occurring disorders as well.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Enhancing behavioral skills, through mindfulness and emotional regulation, is the primary focus of DBT. This type of treatment encourages stress management, decreases impulsivity, and aims to strengthen self esteem through discipline and structure.

Mindfulness Meditation
The disease of addiction stems from a malady of the brain, a chemical imbalance like one commonly seen with other mental disorders. Mindfulness meditation helps individuals identify what is causing their intense cravings. Mindfulness meditation encourages inner calm and detachment from discomfort. Focusing on eliminating impulsivity by connecting the addict to their innermost self, this treatment method has proven to be successful in preventing future relapse and maintaining spiritual wholeness.

It is important to remember that before attempting any type of treatment, it is crucial for an addict to receive the proper medical treatment while detoxing. Prolonged use of any mood or mind altering substance substantially affects the individual mentally and physically. It is important for the addict and his/her support to remember there is no cure for addiction, but rather multiple options available to best suite the individual’s needs for treatment in hopes of achieving long term sobriety. The overall goal is to achieve long term sobriety, relapse prevention, and manage any mental/physical ailment with further treatment.

Ballantyne NC Real Estate Market

Ballantyne, a suburb of North Carolina that’s located in the area known as South Charlotte, is a simply beautiful place to live. It’s a newer community, equipped with many amenities to meet its residents’ professional and recreational needs.

ballantyne real estateThe area is easily accessible, located just off of highway 485 on exit 61 (Johnston Rd.). It occupies land that used to be the Morrison hunting reserve. Ballantyne has 2,000 acres of space to call its own, and because of all the businesses, stores and other conveniences it boasts, it is considered by many to be a town within itself.

Within the borders of Ballantyne is a 535-acre corporate park that includes all kinds of office buildings, a resort hotel, a golf course, and more. Inside that area are a variety of other establishments as well, including plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. One of the most recently developed shopping centers is called Ballantyne Village. It has a host of popular shops and delicious restaurants, in addition to a brand-new theater.

Ballantyne is full of opportunity for its residents. The schools are excellent, and business opportunities are plentiful. Thanks to its more recent development, this steadily growing area is all tastefully landscaped – from the public areas to the private homes. If you’re considering home buying in Ballantyne, you can expect to find many beautiful options to meet your needs. If you’re more in the market for home selling, this is a great area for you as well, as its attracting new people every day.


Ballantyne is a modern, well-developed area of North Carolina that’s bursting with beautiful homes and growing businesses. Due to its close proximity to the city, this community is often referred to as “South Charlotte.” There are plenty of Charlotte homes for sale here, and condos are an attractive choice for many residents as well. They provide a nice middle ground between the basics of apartment living and the upkeep and responsibility of a house. If you’re interested in condo buying or selling in Ballantyne, now is a great time to see what this area has to offer.

One of the many reasons Ballantyne is so popular is because of its prime location. It’s easily accessible from a variety of places around the greater Charlotte Metropolitan Area, and conveniently located just off of highway 485, at exit 61 – Johnston Road. This booming area is home to plenty of stores and successful businesses, and residents have easy access to everything they need for day-to-day living.

Ballantyne is full of opportunity for residents. There’s a 535-acre corporate park that has everything from a resort hotel and golf course to several major office complexes. Also in the area is Ballantyne Village, a recently developed shopping center bursting with popular stores, delicious restaurants, and a brand new movie theater. Add in the excellent schools in the area, the plentiful business opportunities, and the ongoing development, and you can see why this is one of Charlotte’s most popular places to live.

If you’re considering condo buying in Ballantyne, you can expect to find many beautiful options to meet your needs. If you’re more in the market for condo selling, this is a great area for you as well, as it’s attracting new people every day.

Top Charlotte Neighborhoods with Homes for Sale

With over 2.5 million people calling the Charlotte metro area home, the city has a vast number of neighborhoods for its home buyers to consider. How can you know when you have found the right one for your needs? Here are several hot communities with Charlotte homes for sale that are definitely worth considering:

  • Dilworth – Dilworth was once Charlotte’s only streetcar suburb and offers a variety of established and historic homes along tree-lined streets with sidewalks. Front porches are prominent here, and in East Boulevard you will find restaurants, shops and offices in a variety of industries.
  • fBaxter Village – If you are looking for a neighborhood that captures everything you loved about your childhood, with a modern twist, Baxter Village is the one you want. Here a strong community gives you beautiful homes in a small-town atmosphere, just minutes from Charlotte. If you are looking for modern homes in a community where your children will feel safe, Baxter Village is the one for you.
  • Elizabeth – The home of Independence Park, Elizabeth has long been known as a fashionable residential area. Today it offers historic properties with mature trees in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood close to businesses and shopping. It has one of the highest Walk Scores of the entire Charlotte community.
  • Plaza Midwood – For diversity, home buyers can trust Plaza Midwood to serve up a wide range of housing choices. The historic community is centered around The Plaza, where unique shops are abundant. Midwood is the predominant residential area here, and its historic bungalows have been carefully restored to appeal to the modern buyer.
  • Davidson – Just 20 miles north of downtown Charlotte is the lakeside community of Davidson, tucked away on the shores of Lake Norman. If you are looking for a lakefront property that is close to the city, start your search in Davidson.

Whether you are looking for a lakeside estate, historic bungalow or newly-built home in a quiet suburb, the neighborhoods in and around Charlotte will deliver. Choose a home in one of these popular communities, and you will have the chance to enjoy the best of the Charlotte area.

How to Hone Creative Thinking Skills

Creativity is inherently mysterious. We can give it a definition, or we can agree on specific benchmarks of creativity, but we can never accurately ascertain its very essence. We can practice it or, at the very least, aim for it, but we can never easily standardize creative thinking and its requisite triggers.

aaaaAlthough we are able to eventually recognize a creative or masterful work—the brainchild of an individual who has suddenly received a stroke of brilliance—we will never be able to pinpoint the exact course of such creative force or inspiration. In some ways, this apparent carelessness on our part with regards to where creativity truly lies and how it pursues its own progress is quite beneficial to humanity—at least we are able to enjoy and appreciate its ephemeral quality, as opposed to getting lulled by its permanence.

Now the question is, is it possible to consciously trigger creative thinking? While others are more inclined to believe that creative thinking comes in a whimsical fashion to individuals who are more blessed than others, it is best to still keep a certain degree of optimism that creativity can be learned and nurtured. Especially if one belongs to a competitive organization running a high-stake business, consistent creative thinking is an essential competence that cannot be relegated into a mere chance or coincidence.

One way to trigger creative thinking is to feel dissatisfied or restless toward the current standards. Just because something regarded as ‘familiar’ has existed for the longest time does not mean it should be ignored. The more constructive way to deal with an unsatisfactory routine, situation, practice, or idea, is to gain full awareness of it. It is only when one is already equipped with a keen perception of current realities when he or she is able to fashion novel means to see these realities, en route to creating a new set of belief systems aimed at augmenting what is present and what may very well be obsolete.

They key to creative thinking is to consciously allow oneself to assess points of interests from different perspectives. This would be one way that participants develop creative thinking skills For example, within the context of a professional environment, organizational roles, rules, and functions can be reevaluated using multiple vantage points, and through exhaustion of perceptions from employees hailing from all possible backgrounds. Through this process, stakeholders—leaders and managers specifically, can then delineate which systems deserve to be maintained and which ones ought to be re-tailored or, at the very least, reinforced.

Furthermore, adequate processing of ideas is crucial to the process of creative thinking. It is not enough to collect new insights and perspectives. The more challenging task is determining which of these actually has the most potential, hence should be developed. This step entails using reliable references such as available data, with utmost objectivity.

In the end, creativity begins with a deliberate effort to think creatively. Once an individual develops a habit of thinking driven by a potent sense of purpose and with hopes for greatness, creative thinking can then become an exercise of acquired competence. We have seen mankind’s greatest innovators begin from scratch and eventually reap the rewards of their persistent creativity. It is about time we jump into the fray.

Author Information:
Nicholas Hill, a modern thought leader, and international Trainer of strategic leadership skills and management development, the Managing Director and Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd.

When Attracting Top Talent, Focus on Your Company, Not Their Alternatives

Start-ups exist because confident, determined individuals see a different way of doing things.  It’s this difference that defines the organization through its culture and offerings.  As start-ups grow there will be an inevitable need to bring in brighter minds than the status quo, in an effort to push the innovation onward and up.

However, alluring the brightest possible minds can be a daunting task, but the potential candidates don’t need to know.  In business school we are told time and time again how the interview is time for the interviewee to ask just as many questions as the interviewer.  So, as the interviewer, it’s important to be ready for these questions.  If none are asked, then the decision is easy — not the right person.  When they are, the real interview can begin.  In discussions, don’t pay attention to the candidate’s alternatives; they are coming to be wooed by you and your organization.

Joey RestivoAvoid giving their alternatives free press.  The candidate will know more about their alternative organizations than you do.  If they are worth hiring, that particular research has been done, and they will see weakness in you making a point to belittle their options.  They are giving you the time of day to hear about your company, your products, and your story.  Even if they pose the question of why should I work for you as opposed to the other guys? Keep the focus on you, and how you believe they should work for you.  In business, such as in life, there will always be another who can offer more.  So comparing yourself to all the others will surely leave you beat.  Be proud of what you have accomplished and demand potential candidates share in your passion and resilience.

Let them walk away; see how they perform in uncertainty.  If the interview had too much focus on the options they’re toiling over, then they walk away knowing the upper-hand is theirs.  Keep the conversations on working for you and the fit you’re looking for within your company.  Then they’ll know you’re determined to find the best, brightest person – the upper hand is now yours.  They’re now uncertain if you’ll be calling, if they are determined to work in your culture, they will reach back out.  There will be follow-up questions and further discussions on what the role at hand consists of.  Make sure they are as enthusiastically committed to the difference as you are.  Hiring someone should be for the long-term success of the individual and the organization.  If you don’t do your due diligence in the beginning and see how their tenacity and drive plays out, then you will have set you, them, and the organization up for a failed and often miserable experience.  Be patient, be proud, and be primarily focused.

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